Thabang Moroe. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe on Friday.

In an internal notice to staff, CSA’s Board says the decision – described as a “precautionary suspension” - was based on reports received by the organisation’s Social and Ethics Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee. 

The reports related to “possible failure of controls in the organisation.”

Meanwhile, the board also mandated, its chairman CSA’s president Chris Nenzani to talk to Dave Richardson – the ICC’s former chief executive, and the former South African wicketkeeper regarding the appointment of an acting CEO for the duration of Moroe’s suspension.

Moroe’s suspension comes on the back of a bombshell dropped by Standard Bank on Friday morning in which it stated it would not be renewing its contract as the title sponsor for the Proteas men's team when it concludes in April 2020. 

The decision left Cricket SA reeling. 

That news came on top of confirmation that a third independent director of CSA’s Board, had tendered her resignation earlier on Friday. Dawn Mokhobo, who has served on the board for seven years, cited “controversial events over the past few months,” as the reason for her resignation.

Mokhobo was also the chairperson of CSA’s Human Resource and Remuneration Committee and in 2016 chaired a four-person committee that included former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, that was tasked to undertake a thorough review of all South Africa’s national cricket teams in the wake of another failure at an ICC event, which in that year was the World T20. 

The decision by Standard Bank is a massive blow for CSA, not just from a financial perspective, but reputationally too. Cricket SA has lost various sponsors in recent years, while the bank stuck by it. 

“Standard Bank is committed to upholding the highest levels of leadership, integrity and governance. In light of recent developments at CSA, which are a culmination of long-standing problems which have damaged Standard Bank’s reputation, it has decided not to renew its partnership with CSA,” said the Bank’s Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Thulani Sibeko. 

He added that the decision was not taken lightly.

Standard Bank’s sponsorship has helped to maintain not just the men’s team but also CSA’s development initiatives right through the regional performance centres or hubs. 

The decision is sure to have an impact on a series of meetings taking place over the next few days, starting with the SA Cricketers Association (SACA). On Friday, SACA joined calls for Moroe to resign.

The executive of the body, which represents over 300 players in South Africa, was meeting on Friday to discuss the possibility of strike action when the news of Moroe's suspension broke. 

SACA said that while it reserved the right to undertake industrial action, it would for now hold off on doing so. 

“SACA reiterates, however, that industrial action by the players should be viewed only as a very last resort,” said its chief executive Tony Irish. “We also wish to reassure cricket fans, and other cricket stakeholders, that SACA will not embark on industrial action with the players during the upcoming England series.  

Later on Friday, Cricket SA’s members Council - made up of all 14 provincial presidents will also be meeting where a series of resolutions - including the resignation of Cricket SA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe, will be discussed. 

On Saturday, the remaining members of the Cricket SA’s Board of Directors - now numbering nine - will also meet.

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